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Hell with The Lid Blown Off
Alafair Tucker Mystery
Donis Casey

Poisoned Pen Press
June 6, 2014/ ISBN 9781464 202988

Reviewed by Claudia VanLydegraf


WOW!!!! I can say more but Ms. Casey, you really put a great book together this time. Hell with The Lid Blown Off is one of the best books I have read, even though I sort of knew what was going on. I sat down to read your latest book, and figured I would read it in just a short few days, a little at a time, but when I started reading it I could NOT put it down. I finished one night of reading because I was too sleepy to stay awake, picked it up the next morning and couldn't put it down until I finished it.

Alafair Tucker is on her toes again and she has taught her children well. They all know to look for the hidden realities of whatever is happening around the activities that all the family gets involved in. This time, it is daughter Ruth who has her sweet half grown personality awakened so gently to the possibilities of life. Ruth is growing up and plays the piano like a dream, and she is being groomed by Miz. Beckie MacKenzie to become the next Piano teacher for the town of Boynton. She is becoming a beguiling young lady and some of the young men in town are starting to notice, Jubal Beldon being one and young Trenton Calder, the other. Jubal notices for some small nefarious purposes of his own and Trenton notices because he, after knowing young Ruth all of her life, has suddenly awoken to the stunning beauty and the musical abilities, of this young girl.

Jubal dies a mysterious death after making disparaging remarks about Wallace MacKenzie, grandson of Miz. Beckie, and then a real wayward tornado (a horror that is absolutely spell-binding) ripping through the area and the townspeople having to make do with what has happened and all the destruction from it. Trenton is charged with finding out how and why Jubal died, he is the very young Deputy Sheriff of Boynton and Sheriff Scott Tucker is out of commission, after being wounded by one of the other Beldon brothers, Hosea. This story gives a lot of insight into the criminal processes that took place "back when" during the early years of the 20th Century. This is a down-home book about a down-home family living in a time when the State of Oklahoma was just growing up to fit into its coming bounties of being a big state.

I really do love the Tucker family and all they stood for, and made for themselves during times of hardship and peril in a place that was not as hospitable as one might be led to think it was. Donis Casey tells it like it was, and what every person who was on the cutting edge of settling the Midwest had to know to survive. This is the 5th book by Ms. Casey that I have reviewed (although she has written 7 now) and I love her style of writing, her cohesive ways to keep the story together and the downright honesty that is put into her characters. Keep writing your stories for the world to see and read, because they are needed by all of us to appreciate what our fore-families all lived through to get to where we are now. You tell us why our values are and should be in front of us every day and make us proud that we have those values. You go Girl, use that gift that you have. Hell with The Lid Blown Off is an absolutely great story.

Reviewed 2014